Are you interested in finding out more about the largest choir in the Civil Service? Perhaps even consider joining them? The London-based choir Etcetera has over 120 members and has raised nearly £25,000 for its favourite charities, which include the Civil Service Lifeboat Fund.
The name originated from the founding departments - Environment, Transport and Communities - but membership is now open to all.
Each year the choir gives several public concerts; performances include concerts at the prestigious St John’s Smith Square, with an orchestra and capacity audiences of over 700.
The choir is un-auditioned however the standard of performance aimed for is ambitiously high and concerts receive effusive plaudits:
It was absolutely magnificent, exhilarating and unexpectedly emotional.
Being in the choir helps members through difficult times, stimulates and challenges them, and gives them a tremendous sense of achievement:
I have never been so proud of something I have done - a truly life-enhancing experience.
Rehearsals have become a weekly highlight for members, who range from administrators to Senior Civil Servants, including a Permanent Secretary. Some members have no previous experience of singing others are highly experienced choral singers. People are brought together from different parts of the Civil Service, who would not otherwise meet, and there is a strong sense of camaraderie:
The team spirit is the best part of being in Etcetera – we build each other’s confidence, we are united by a common goal and every rehearsal and concert brings a fantastic sense of achievement.
The choir rehearses on Monday lunchtimes in Westminster; please do visit their webpages to find out more including their upcoming programme, and how you can get involved.